Headline hit “The One,” once slated to be listed at $500 million by developer Nile Niami, has officially been auctioned off for $141 million.
The buyer was recently revealed to be the CEO of fast fashion brand Fashion Nova, Richard Saghian, who paid $126 million for the property plus a $15 million auction premium. As the highest bidder, he got quite a deal, given that the house was auctioned for $295 million, but without reserve.
Co-registration agent Aaron Kirman of the Aaron Kirman group at Compass tells Forbes that they showed the house to more than 40 billionaires from around the world, but at the time of the auction, only five bidders participated.
“Our goal was to get over $200 million,” Kirman says. “The marketing campaign we ran was great and felt across the world from Africa to Oceania and beyond. The main challenge was the lack of occupancy certificates. Most rich people at this level, all they want to bring is their toothbrush. Usually they even buy these houses with art, furniture and cars. Everyone loved the idea and the desirability of the house, but I think the majority of people did not want to go through the process of obtaining the certificate of occupancy.
Developed by Nile Niami, the massive residence was once valued at $500 million. The estate took more than 10 years to build and created massive debt for Niami, which experienced cost overruns and numerous delays. His development company, Crestlloyd, which owns the property, filed for bankruptcy last year. Delays, foreclosure proceedings and the absence of a certificate of occupancy made it increasingly difficult to find a buyer. Even today, the house has almost a year of work, or even more, before being officially completed.
If it was the case sold at auction for $295 million, it would have been the most expensive home ever sold in the United States. Yet billionaire and hedge fund mogul Ken Griffin’s $238 million New York penthouse still holds the record. However, at 105,000 square feet, the house is the largest in Los Angeles and the fourth largest sale in California history.
The hilltop estate has 21 bedrooms and 42 bathrooms, plus an extensive list of ostentatious amenities, like a putting green; 10,000 bottle wine cellar; several swimming pools; confectionery; hairdresser; spa; Bowling alley; casino; and more. The house did not come without scrutiny for its garish nature. According to WSJ, the nightclub was turned into a philanthropic wing after pushback from the local community. The house was built by architect Paul McClean, who coincidentally developed Saghian’s Hollywood Hills home and possibly one of the draws for the fast fashion CEO to buy the house. The stunning setting also has potential for photo shoots and shoots for her fashion business.
“It’s one of the most beautiful homes in the world,” Kirman says. “I think he intends to live there, but it’s also an amazing house to live, work, earn money and do everything else. It’s a world of endless possibilities.
Although Saghian declined to comment further on the purchase, he told the Los Angeles Times“’The One’ Bel-Air is a once-in-a-lifetime property that can never be replicated. There is nothing else like it. As a lifelong Angeleno and avid real estate collector, I recognized this as a rare opportunity that also allows me to own a unique property destined to be part of Los Angeles history.
The home was co-listed by Branden and Rayni Williams of The Beverly Hills Estates and Kirman. Hilton & Hyland’s Williams and Stuart Vetterick represented Saghian in the deal.